Creative Ideas for the Digital Age

Ice for the Future

For years now we have been successfully transforming existing business models.

The joy of tackling such multidisciplinary challenges as developing and implementing new business models has kept us motivated to come up with a variety of very creative ideas over the years. At the same time, we can evaluate these ideas based on their economic and technological merits. Before we launch into the details, however, we would like to share a short story.

One of the hot topics, discussed in many boardrooms today is whether we are living in a time of change or a time of revolution. The answer varies widely by industry and handling each alternative requires a different strategy. The following is an example of such a market disruption, where technological innovation led to an outright transformation of the market and the disappearance of an entire industry.

How did people refrigerate their food products in the past? In the 19th century, blocks of ice were harvested from frozen lakes and rivers to be stored in large ice houses, where food was cooled. The ice blocks were transported to these warehouses by horse carriages at the time. Later, blocks of ice were delivered directly to consumers, to cool food locally in, more or less, insulated ice boxes. With the advance of electric motors, ice started to be artificially produced in factories. By that time, however, trucks, rather than horses, were being used to deliver the blocks to consumers. Then, the invention of the fridge revolutionized the industry and allowed every household to refrigerate their own perishables without depending on ice blocks.

Nowadays our fridges do even more than that: we watch TV on them, download the latest nutritional advice based on their contents and automatically receive special offers on out of stock items.

Transformation of Business Models

Every business model was successful at its prime. Had we asked the ice distributors where they saw the future of their business model, we would have received a variety of different answers. One might have told us that more horse carriages were needed to harvest more ice. Another would have advocated bigger ice houses and yet another more delivery trucks to supply more customers. The right answer, however, turned out to be: more factories; not ice factories, however, because the future belonged to the fridge.

Why is this Story still relevant today?

The next big innovation was always introduced by an outsider, not the current manufacturers or traders. Everybody focused on increasing business within the confines of their existing business model. The next evolutionary step, however, was introduced as an outside impulse.

The Next Curve

We all know the five market phases and their correlating yield curves. We have also learned how to extend the curves through mergers & acquisitions. The yellow curve shows the market share and hence the point in time when the market becomes saturated and revenues begin to stagnate or even decline.

Thus, the challenge is to begin the next curve before the point of saturation is reached. This is only possible through new innovation.

Source: Wikipedia

Creative Ideas and Entrepreneurial Management

To generate new, creative ideas, one needs a lot of know-how about a range of topics, technologies, industries, methods, markets and trends. There can be no limitation on combining this know-how. The secret ingredient is the necessary skill for creative thinking and the corresponding capabilities.

In order to develop new approaches and as a result, new business models, tools such as trend analysis, in-depth knowledge of the latest technologies and economic conditions, conceptual thinking and modern methods of analysis (Big Data, social media, predictive analysis, etc.) are necessary. Using our cutting edge analysis methods, we test new ideas in the digital market and identify the high potentials to contribute to your business success.

New concepts for a digital market also require new management styles. Learn more about what we call Entrepreneurial Management.

Join us on the next curve and invent ‘a new fridge’ with us!